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Bonjour Monsieur Vladimir T.
Werner Würtinger

Curated by Josef Dabernig
29.9.2021 – 30.10.2021


With his early move beyond the figurative and strongly pronounced constructivism, Würtinger represents the tradition of Austrian figurative post-war sculpture, which has since been somewhat obscured by later developments. As an influential teacher, he guided a large number of young sculptors into the institutional realm. Werner Würtinger has thus functioned as an artist-at-the-threshold, a proverbial hinge between spaces and generations. It is with this artist and teacher that Significant Other is pleased to conclude a programming arc conceived as a journey of discovery, a premise that entails intermediatory activities manifested as a creative process, as a tool beyond institutional constraints, and especially as interpersonal action.

What could be more logical, in view of the limited available space, than to deal with what Werner Würtinger refers to as “the phenomenon of space-saving sculpture?” All the more since Significant Other’s compact, L-shaped room with four differently realized doors, display window, partly lowered ceiling with a vertical panel blocking the view into the space above, and electrical and gas meters represents a setting of intricately articulated requirements. For the left-hand side of this Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, one of the few uninterrupted wall surfaces, Würtinger has conceived a picture-like object: wooden frames define an overlap, with one of the levels hinged and thus capable of being turned into the room.

Werner Würtinger brings out the interplay between object and planes of reference in multifarious ways. If we think of the historical concept of the free-standing sculpture, what we are dealing with semantically here is a construct situated between autonomy and authority. Saintly statuary and rulers’ busts speak for themselves in this regard. Conversely, free-standing sculptures are part of a relational network both spatial and symbolic in all conceivable high cultures. Würtinger’s interest hence centers on the contradictions entailed by a type of sculpture that oscillates between autarchical and referential considerations.

The relationship with the wall exhibited by his work for Significant Other is less the function of an object hung there and more a product of a reciprocal dialog between space, wall, and object. Viewed on the meta level, it is not to make a statement that the artist refrains from planting himself in the middle of the space. This is much rather about over-affirming the fact of a non-existent spatial center by deliberately having his object both lean on the wall and indecisively emerge therefrom. Würtinger’s sculpture behaves like a spectator who comes by, communicates, and stages himself in the manner of a dandy, eschewing the righteous habitus of moralists or capitalists.

One can describe Werner Würtinger’s post-figurative sculpture as characterized by something deeply ephemeral. It communicates with the space in a way that is divorced from centristic considerations. It also articulates issues of economy by reflecting and hence reaffirming a reduced spatial program. It is no coincidence that Würtinger’s reference here is to Margarethe Schütte-Lihotzky’s Frankfurt Kitchen of nearly a century ago, a design aimed at optimizing household work processes. Frank Stella’s shaped canvases represent a further reference, this one relevant in terms of the relationship between painting and sculpture. Würtinger’s work counters Stella’s increasingly unbounded painting, which smacks of something like “picturesque Hellenism”, with something that is more in the mode of an accentuated but for the most part reservedly painted sculpture or drawing-in-space.

This idea is articulated prototypically in his 1979 work that he photographed in the garden of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna’s Böcklinstrasse location. Here, the tradition of the Wotruba School—so apparent in Vienna—became entirely a thing of the past. And what opened up for me as I helped Würtinger set up his work to be photographed were instead pathways to El Lissitzky and Naum Gabo and even to Pier Luigi Nervi and Lina Bo Bardi, two planes of reference that had yet to receive much attention in Vienna.

 

Werner Würtinger, born in Hallein in 1941, studied sculpture with Fritz Wotruba at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Over the nearly 30 years during which he then taught there himself, he was a formative and important unifying figure for multiple generations of artists. Würtinger was a longstanding board member of the Vienna Secession and served as its president from 1995 to 1999. His work was shown early on in the Geist und Form exhibitions initiated by Otto Mauer under the auspices of the Catholic University Congregation in Vienna (1962), in Exakte Tendenzen at Vienna’s Modern Art Gallery (1982), and later in the form of significant spatial interventions for Ausgeträumt... at the Vienna Secession (2001) and We still have to appeal to your imagination today... at the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne (2003). Werner Würtinger has edited the books Room 8 – The Bruno Gironcoli School of Sculpture (Vienna 2005) and Arcadia and Pleasant Enemies. The Sculpture Studios in the Prater (Revolver Publishing, Berlin 2011).


Photos: kunst-dokumentation.com

Bonjour Monsieur Vladimir T.
Werner Würtinger
Curated by Josef Dabernig
29.9.2021 – 30.10.2021

 

With his early move beyond the figurative and strongly pronounced constructivism, Würtinger represents the tradition of Austrian figurative post-war sculpture, which has since been somewhat obscured by later developments. As an influential teacher, he guided a large number of young sculptors into the institutional realm. Werner Würtinger has thus functioned as an artist-at-the-threshold, a proverbial hinge between spaces and generations. It is with this artist and teacher that Significant Other is pleased to conclude a programming arc conceived as a journey of discovery, a premise that entails intermediatory activities manifested as a creative process, as a tool beyond institutional constraints, and especially as interpersonal action.

What could be more logical, in view of the limited available space, than to deal with what Werner Würtinger refers to as “the phenomenon of space-saving sculpture?” All the more since Significant Other’s compact, L-shaped room with four differently realized doors, display window, partly lowered ceiling with a vertical panel blocking the view into the space above, and electrical and gas meters represents a setting of intricately articulated requirements. For the left-hand side of this Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, one of the few uninterrupted wall surfaces, Würtinger has conceived a picture-like object: wooden frames define an overlap, with one of the levels hinged and thus capable of being turned into the room.

Werner Würtinger brings out the interplay between object and planes of reference in multifarious ways. If we think of the historical concept of the free-standing sculpture, what we are dealing with semantically here is a construct situated between autonomy and authority. Saintly statuary and rulers’ busts speak for themselves in this regard. Conversely, free-standing sculptures are part of a relational network both spatial and symbolic in all conceivable high cultures. Würtinger’s interest hence centers on the contradictions entailed by a type of sculpture that oscillates between autarchical and referential considerations.

The relationship with the wall exhibited by his work for Significant Other is less the function of an object hung there and more a product of a reciprocal dialog between space, wall, and object. Viewed on the meta level, it is not to make a statement that the artist refrains from planting himself in the middle of the space. This is much rather about over-affirming the fact of a non-existent spatial center by deliberately having his object both lean on the wall and indecisively emerge therefrom. Würtinger’s sculpture behaves like a spectator who comes by, communicates, and stages himself in the manner of a dandy, eschewing the righteous habitus of moralists or capitalists.

One can describe Werner Würtinger’s post-figurative sculpture as characterized by something deeply ephemeral. It communicates with the space in a way that is divorced from centristic considerations. It also articulates issues of economy by reflecting and hence reaffirming a reduced spatial program. It is no coincidence that Würtinger’s reference here is to Margarethe Schütte-Lihotzky’s Frankfurt Kitchen of nearly a century ago, a design aimed at optimizing household work processes. Frank Stella’s shaped canvases represent a further reference, this one relevant in terms of the relationship between painting and sculpture. Würtinger’s work counters Stella’s increasingly unbounded painting, which smacks of something like “picturesque Hellenism”, with something that is more in the mode of an accentuated but for the most part reservedly painted sculpture or drawing-in-space.

This idea is articulated prototypically in his 1979 work that he photographed in the garden of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna’s Böcklinstrasse location. Here, the tradition of the Wotruba School—so apparent in Vienna—became entirely a thing of the past. And what opened up for me as I helped Würtinger set up his work to be photographed were instead pathways to El Lissitzky and Naum Gabo and even to Pier Luigi Nervi and Lina Bo Bardi, two planes of reference that had yet to receive much attention in Vienna.

 

Werner Würtinger, born in Hallein in 1941, studied sculpture with Fritz Wotruba at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Over the nearly 30 years during which he then taught there himself, he was a formative and important unifying figure for multiple generations of artists. Würtinger was a longstanding board member of the Vienna Secession and served as its president from 1995 to 1999. His work was shown early on in the Geist und Form exhibitions initiated by Otto Mauer under the auspices of the Catholic University Congregation in Vienna (1962), in Exakte Tendenzen at Vienna’s Modern Art Gallery (1982), and later in the form of significant spatial interventions for Ausgeträumt... at the Vienna Secession (2001) and We still have to appeal to your imagination today... at the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne (2003). Werner Würtinger has edited the books Room 8 – The Bruno Gironcoli School of Sculpture (Vienna 2005) and Arcadia and Pleasant Enemies. The Sculpture Studios in the Prater (Revolver Publishing, Berlin 2011).

 

Photos: kunst-dokumentation.com

Bonjour Monsieur Vladimir T.
Werner Würtinger
Curated by Josef Dabernig
29.9.2021 – 30.10.2021

 

With his early move beyond the figurative and strongly pronounced constructivism, Würtinger represents the tradition of Austrian figurative post-war sculpture, which has since been somewhat obscured by later developments. As an influential teacher, he guided a large number of young sculptors into the institutional realm. Werner Würtinger has thus functioned as an artist-at-the-threshold, a proverbial hinge between spaces and generations. It is with this artist and teacher that Significant Other is pleased to conclude a programming arc conceived as a journey of discovery, a premise that entails intermediatory activities manifested as a creative process, as a tool beyond institutional constraints, and especially as interpersonal action.

What could be more logical, in view of the limited available space, than to deal with what Werner Würtinger refers to as “the phenomenon of space-saving sculpture?” All the more since Significant Other’s compact, L-shaped room with four differently realized doors, display window, partly lowered ceiling with a vertical panel blocking the view into the space above, and electrical and gas meters represents a setting of intricately articulated requirements. For the left-hand side of this Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, one of the few uninterrupted wall surfaces, Würtinger has conceived a picture-like object: wooden frames define an overlap, with one of the levels hinged and thus capable of being turned into the room.

Werner Würtinger brings out the interplay between object and planes of reference in multifarious ways. If we think of the historical concept of the free-standing sculpture, what we are dealing with semantically here is a construct situated between autonomy and authority. Saintly statuary and rulers’ busts speak for themselves in this regard. Conversely, free-standing sculptures are part of a relational network both spatial and symbolic in all conceivable high cultures. Würtinger’s interest hence centers on the contradictions entailed by a type of sculpture that oscillates between autarchical and referential considerations.

The relationship with the wall exhibited by his work for Significant Other is less the function of an object hung there and more a product of a reciprocal dialog between space, wall, and object. Viewed on the meta level, it is not to make a statement that the artist refrains from planting himself in the middle of the space. This is much rather about over-affirming the fact of a non-existent spatial center by deliberately having his object both lean on the wall and indecisively emerge therefrom. Würtinger’s sculpture behaves like a spectator who comes by, communicates, and stages himself in the manner of a dandy, eschewing the righteous habitus of moralists or capitalists.

One can describe Werner Würtinger’s post-figurative sculpture as characterized by something deeply ephemeral. It communicates with the space in a way that is divorced from centristic considerations. It also articulates issues of economy by reflecting and hence reaffirming a reduced spatial program. It is no coincidence that Würtinger’s reference here is to Margarethe Schütte-Lihotzky’s Frankfurt Kitchen of nearly a century ago, a design aimed at optimizing household work processes. Frank Stella’s shaped canvases represent a further reference, this one relevant in terms of the relationship between painting and sculpture. Würtinger’s work counters Stella’s increasingly unbounded painting, which smacks of something like “picturesque Hellenism”, with something that is more in the mode of an accentuated but for the most part reservedly painted sculpture or drawing-in-space.

This idea is articulated prototypically in his 1979 work that he photographed in the garden of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna’s Böcklinstrasse location. Here, the tradition of the Wotruba School—so apparent in Vienna—became entirely a thing of the past. And what opened up for me as I helped Würtinger set up his work to be photographed were instead pathways to El Lissitzky and Naum Gabo and even to Pier Luigi Nervi and Lina Bo Bardi, two planes of reference that had yet to receive much attention in Vienna.

 

Werner Würtinger, born in Hallein in 1941, studied sculpture with Fritz Wotruba at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Over the nearly 30 years during which he then taught there himself, he was a formative and important unifying figure for multiple generations of artists. Würtinger was a longstanding board member of the Vienna Secession and served as its president from 1995 to 1999. His work was shown early on in the Geist und Form exhibitions initiated by Otto Mauer under the auspices of the Catholic University Congregation in Vienna (1962), in Exakte Tendenzen at Vienna’s Modern Art Gallery (1982), and later in the form of significant spatial interventions for Ausgeträumt... at the Vienna Secession (2001) and We still have to appeal to your imagination today... at the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne (2003). Werner Würtinger has edited the books Room 8 – The Bruno Gironcoli School of Sculpture (Vienna 2005) and Arcadia and Pleasant Enemies. The Sculpture Studios in the Prater (Revolver Publishing, Berlin 2011).

 

Photos: kunst-dokumentation.com

Bonjour Monsieur Vladimir T.
Werner Würtinger
Curated by Josef Dabernig
29.9.2021 – 30.10.2021

 

With his early move beyond the figurative and strongly pronounced constructivism, Würtinger represents the tradition of Austrian figurative post-war sculpture, which has since been somewhat obscured by later developments. As an influential teacher, he guided a large number of young sculptors into the institutional realm. Werner Würtinger has thus functioned as an artist-at-the-threshold, a proverbial hinge between spaces and generations. It is with this artist and teacher that Significant Other is pleased to conclude a programming arc conceived as a journey of discovery, a premise that entails intermediatory activities manifested as a creative process, as a tool beyond institutional constraints, and especially as interpersonal action.

What could be more logical, in view of the limited available space, than to deal with what Werner Würtinger refers to as “the phenomenon of space-saving sculpture?” All the more since Significant Other’s compact, L-shaped room with four differently realized doors, display window, partly lowered ceiling with a vertical panel blocking the view into the space above, and electrical and gas meters represents a setting of intricately articulated requirements. For the left-hand side of this Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, one of the few uninterrupted wall surfaces, Würtinger has conceived a picture-like object: wooden frames define an overlap, with one of the levels hinged and thus capable of being turned into the room.

Werner Würtinger brings out the interplay between object and planes of reference in multifarious ways. If we think of the historical concept of the free-standing sculpture, what we are dealing with semantically here is a construct situated between autonomy and authority. Saintly statuary and rulers’ busts speak for themselves in this regard. Conversely, free-standing sculptures are part of a relational network both spatial and symbolic in all conceivable high cultures. Würtinger’s interest hence centers on the contradictions entailed by a type of sculpture that oscillates between autarchical and referential considerations.

The relationship with the wall exhibited by his work for Significant Other is less the function of an object hung there and more a product of a reciprocal dialog between space, wall, and object. Viewed on the meta level, it is not to make a statement that the artist refrains from planting himself in the middle of the space. This is much rather about over-affirming the fact of a non-existent spatial center by deliberately having his object both lean on the wall and indecisively emerge therefrom. Würtinger’s sculpture behaves like a spectator who comes by, communicates, and stages himself in the manner of a dandy, eschewing the righteous habitus of moralists or capitalists.

One can describe Werner Würtinger’s post-figurative sculpture as characterized by something deeply ephemeral. It communicates with the space in a way that is divorced from centristic considerations. It also articulates issues of economy by reflecting and hence reaffirming a reduced spatial program. It is no coincidence that Würtinger’s reference here is to Margarethe Schütte-Lihotzky’s Frankfurt Kitchen of nearly a century ago, a design aimed at optimizing household work processes. Frank Stella’s shaped canvases represent a further reference, this one relevant in terms of the relationship between painting and sculpture. Würtinger’s work counters Stella’s increasingly unbounded painting, which smacks of something like “picturesque Hellenism”, with something that is more in the mode of an accentuated but for the most part reservedly painted sculpture or drawing-in-space.

This idea is articulated prototypically in his 1979 work that he photographed in the garden of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna’s Böcklinstrasse location. Here, the tradition of the Wotruba School—so apparent in Vienna—became entirely a thing of the past. And what opened up for me as I helped Würtinger set up his work to be photographed were instead pathways to El Lissitzky and Naum Gabo and even to Pier Luigi Nervi and Lina Bo Bardi, two planes of reference that had yet to receive much attention in Vienna.

 

Werner Würtinger, born in Hallein in 1941, studied sculpture with Fritz Wotruba at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Over the nearly 30 years during which he then taught there himself, he was a formative and important unifying figure for multiple generations of artists. Würtinger was a longstanding board member of the Vienna Secession and served as its president from 1995 to 1999. His work was shown early on in the Geist und Form exhibitions initiated by Otto Mauer under the auspices of the Catholic University Congregation in Vienna (1962), in Exakte Tendenzen at Vienna’s Modern Art Gallery (1982), and later in the form of significant spatial interventions for Ausgeträumt... at the Vienna Secession (2001) and We still have to appeal to your imagination today... at the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne (2003). Werner Würtinger has edited the books Room 8 – The Bruno Gironcoli School of Sculpture (Vienna 2005) and Arcadia and Pleasant Enemies. The Sculpture Studios in the Prater (Revolver Publishing, Berlin 2011).

 

Photos: kunst-dokumentation.com

Bonjour Monsieur Vladimir T.
Werner Würtinger
Curated by Josef Dabernig
29.9.2021 – 30.10.2021

 

With his early move beyond the figurative and strongly pronounced constructivism, Würtinger represents the tradition of Austrian figurative post-war sculpture, which has since been somewhat obscured by later developments. As an influential teacher, he guided a large number of young sculptors into the institutional realm. Werner Würtinger has thus functioned as an artist-at-the-threshold, a proverbial hinge between spaces and generations. It is with this artist and teacher that Significant Other is pleased to conclude a programming arc conceived as a journey of discovery, a premise that entails intermediatory activities manifested as a creative process, as a tool beyond institutional constraints, and especially as interpersonal action.

What could be more logical, in view of the limited available space, than to deal with what Werner Würtinger refers to as “the phenomenon of space-saving sculpture?” All the more since Significant Other’s compact, L-shaped room with four differently realized doors, display window, partly lowered ceiling with a vertical panel blocking the view into the space above, and electrical and gas meters represents a setting of intricately articulated requirements. For the left-hand side of this Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, one of the few uninterrupted wall surfaces, Würtinger has conceived a picture-like object: wooden frames define an overlap, with one of the levels hinged and thus capable of being turned into the room.

Werner Würtinger brings out the interplay between object and planes of reference in multifarious ways. If we think of the historical concept of the free-standing sculpture, what we are dealing with semantically here is a construct situated between autonomy and authority. Saintly statuary and rulers’ busts speak for themselves in this regard. Conversely, free-standing sculptures are part of a relational network both spatial and symbolic in all conceivable high cultures. Würtinger’s interest hence centers on the contradictions entailed by a type of sculpture that oscillates between autarchical and referential considerations.

The relationship with the wall exhibited by his work for Significant Other is less the function of an object hung there and more a product of a reciprocal dialog between space, wall, and object. Viewed on the meta level, it is not to make a statement that the artist refrains from planting himself in the middle of the space. This is much rather about over-affirming the fact of a non-existent spatial center by deliberately having his object both lean on the wall and indecisively emerge therefrom. Würtinger’s sculpture behaves like a spectator who comes by, communicates, and stages himself in the manner of a dandy, eschewing the righteous habitus of moralists or capitalists.

One can describe Werner Würtinger’s post-figurative sculpture as characterized by something deeply ephemeral. It communicates with the space in a way that is divorced from centristic considerations. It also articulates issues of economy by reflecting and hence reaffirming a reduced spatial program. It is no coincidence that Würtinger’s reference here is to Margarethe Schütte-Lihotzky’s Frankfurt Kitchen of nearly a century ago, a design aimed at optimizing household work processes. Frank Stella’s shaped canvases represent a further reference, this one relevant in terms of the relationship between painting and sculpture. Würtinger’s work counters Stella’s increasingly unbounded painting, which smacks of something like “picturesque Hellenism”, with something that is more in the mode of an accentuated but for the most part reservedly painted sculpture or drawing-in-space.

This idea is articulated prototypically in his 1979 work that he photographed in the garden of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna’s Böcklinstrasse location. Here, the tradition of the Wotruba School—so apparent in Vienna—became entirely a thing of the past. And what opened up for me as I helped Würtinger set up his work to be photographed were instead pathways to El Lissitzky and Naum Gabo and even to Pier Luigi Nervi and Lina Bo Bardi, two planes of reference that had yet to receive much attention in Vienna.

 

Werner Würtinger, born in Hallein in 1941, studied sculpture with Fritz Wotruba at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Over the nearly 30 years during which he then taught there himself, he was a formative and important unifying figure for multiple generations of artists. Würtinger was a longstanding board member of the Vienna Secession and served as its president from 1995 to 1999. His work was shown early on in the Geist und Form exhibitions initiated by Otto Mauer under the auspices of the Catholic University Congregation in Vienna (1962), in Exakte Tendenzen at Vienna’s Modern Art Gallery (1982), and later in the form of significant spatial interventions for Ausgeträumt... at the Vienna Secession (2001) and We still have to appeal to your imagination today... at the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne (2003). Werner Würtinger has edited the books Room 8 – The Bruno Gironcoli School of Sculpture (Vienna 2005) and Arcadia and Pleasant Enemies. The Sculpture Studios in the Prater (Revolver Publishing, Berlin 2011).

 

Photos: kunst-dokumentation.com